Mueller report not imminent. TRANSCRIPT: 02/22/2019, All In w. Chris Hayes.
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 22, 2019
Guest: Deborah Pearlstein, William Rashbaum, Ellie Mystal, Joaquin Castro,
Chris Lu, Marcy Hamilton
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: That is “HARDBALL” for now. Thank you for
being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you consider a pardon for Paul Manafort?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t want to talk about
HAYES: Did Paul Manafort pardons strategy just go through?
PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER CHAIRMAN, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: That`s what I said, that`s
obviously our position is.
HAYES: Tonight, reports that new charges are coming for the man who ran
Trump`s campaign as we await the last major court filing in Mueller`s
Manafort case. Then, breaking news from the New York Times.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: The man doesn`t tell the
HAYES: What we know about the new information Michael Cohen gave
investigators about the Trump family business. Plus, growing calls for the
resignation of Trump`s Labor Secretary over his handling of an infamous sex
TRUMP: That seems like a long time ago.
HAYES: And Democrats start their push to terminate the President`s
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There is no emergency at
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
PELOSI: There isn`t going to be a wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from Los Angeles, I`m Chris Hayes. It appears Michael
Cohen is not done informing on the President to federal prosecutors.
According to a new report out tonight, Cohen met with prosecutors in
Manhattan as recently as last month offering up dirt on possible wrongdoing
at the President`s family business the Trump Organization. We have more on
that story with the reporter who broke it ahead.
But first, Robert Mueller isn`t done either. After multiple outlets citing
sources familiar with the discussions reported that the Justice Department
was preparing to get Mueller`s final report as soon as next week, today, an
anonymous senior DOJ official push back. The official telling NBC News and
others that Mueller`s report will not be delivered to the Attorney General
at any time in the next week.
OK, not clear exactly where the mixed messages are coming from but the
President now says he`s eager for the report to come out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, the nice part, there was no collusion, there was no
obstruction, there was no anything. So that`s the nice part. There was no
phone calls, no nothing. So I look forward to seeing the report. If it`s
an honest report, it will say that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You catch the no phone calls part there? No phone calls? Little
weird. While we may not get to see the final Mueller report in the
immediate future, we will get to see a key document in the case against the
President`s campaign manager Paul Manafort. In fact, we`re expecting at
any now. Tonight is the deadline for Mueller`s prosecutors to file a
sentencing memo in Washington D.C. where Manafort pleaded guilty to two
counts of conspiracy involving his work in Ukraine.
Previous court filings held tantalizing clues about what Mueller knows and
where he`s going. You might remember we learned from a redaction fail by
Manafort`s own lawyers that their client had shared polling data during the
2016 campaign with his Russian-Ukrainian associate Konstantin Kilimnik.
We also learned for the transcript of a closed hearing that Manafort`s
contacts with Kilimnik who since has been indicted had fled to Russia, as
one prosecutor put it “very much to the heart of what the special counsel
office is investigating.” Tonight, sentencing memo could contain more
information on what exactly that means. We learned from that same
transcript a possible reason why Manafort breached his plea deal by lying
to investigators as a judge ruled last week.
Prosecutors said Manafort might have lied to them about an extremely
sensitive issue to increase his chances of getting a presidential pardon.
That is not the craziest idea on Manafort`s part. After all, the President
has explicitly said that a pardon for his campaign manager is still a
possibility. But now, state prosecutors in New York are pursuing a
strategy to hold Manafort accountable regardless of whether the President
NBC News has now confirmed a story first reported by Bloomberg that the
Manhattan District Attorney is getting ready to charge Manafort with tax
evasion and other state crimes. Presidential pardons only apply to federal
charges. Let`s go to one of the reporters who broke that story from NBC
News, Investigative Correspondent Jonathan Dienst. And Jonathan, what do
we know about what the Manhattan D.A. is up to?
JONATHAN DIENST, NBC NEWS INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: We know the
Manhattan da has a grand jury looking into the actions of Paul Manafort,
that they`re looking into bank fraud possible tax violations and others at
the state level and that that process is moving forward. We know subpoenas
have been issued. We know witnesses are being called and we know that
there are plans perhaps in the coming weeks to file state related charges
here in New York.
It is unclear to us at this hour whether the Manhattan D.A. is going to
make those charges public and move forward with them or keep them sealed as
he watches and waits and sees what happens with the federal case with Mr.
Manafort. But we can confirm that the investigation is very much ongoing
out of the Manhattan district attorney`s office here in New York looking
into state charges that could include mortgage fraud and tax fraud and
other related financial matters.
HAYES: Explain to me that decision that he would make them public or keep
them sealed. What – why would he keep them sealed?
DIENST: Well, if Mr. Manafort is sentence of 25 years in prison which is
effectively a life sentence for a 70 year old man and there is no pardon,
then perhaps there`s no reason to move forward and put the resources of
state taxpayers, you know, in putting another trial forward. The New York
Times is reporting that the plan as of now is to move forward with charges
regardless but we`ve been told it could go either way and that is still
something being discussed and considered.
HAYES: And obviously, two considerations here. One, the president can`t
pardon state crimes which is clearly friend of mine and driving part of the
thinking here. Number two, there are double jeopardy protections these
charges have to be different obviously in the federal charges right?
DIENST: Yes. As explained to us, they are different. That federal tax
crimes, federal financial crimes are different than the state crimes that
would be outlined in the state law violations that have been outlined.
It`s not as if he`s been tried once and then going to be tried again on the
same crimes. This – the prosecutor`s position is that these are different
charges. These were state crimes and that if they move forward, they would
be looking to hold them accountable for those.
HAYES: You – we may not know the answer to this but I`ll ask it. Is –
do we have any sense of if there`s a trigger for why this may have started
or when it started or if this is just Cy Vance the Manhattan State D.A.
sort of reading the headlines like everyone else?
DIENST: Our best understanding is that he had started looking into this
and then he deferred to the special counsel and that investigation into
Manafort and then once that seemed to be wrapping up, that office restarted
its work. So the Manhattan D.A. show deference to Bob Mueller but now they
are moving forward with taking a look at what state crimes may have been
HAYES: All right, Jonathan Dienst, thank you very much.
DIENST: Thank you.
HAYES: For more on prosecutors pardoned proof strategy, the end game of
the Mueller investigation and more, I`m joined by MSNBC Legal Analyst Jill
Wine-Banks former Watergate Prosecutor and Deborah Pearlstein who`s a
Professor of Constitutional Law at Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva
University. Professor Feldstein, let me start with you. Walk us through
the way the pardon works and its limitations in terms of state crimes.
DEBORAH PEARLSTEIN, PROFESSOR OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CARDOZO LAW SCHOOL,
YESHIVA UNIVERSITY: So the President`s pardon power under the Constitution
is really substantially unlimited. The President can pardon whoever he
wants as long as he`s partying them for a federal crime, for conduct that
might be illegal under federal law.
The President`s power under the Constitution does not extend at all to
state crimes. And states have been treated for the last 170 years as
separate sovereigns under our law so that – although the Supreme Court
just took a case on this topic which we can talk about, generally double
jeopardy concerns don`t attach.
The state government is a separate sovereign and can move forward on its
own regardless what the President does with respect to federal crimes.
HAYES: Jill, did you have it – was there any talk about this back during
the Nixon days. I wonder if this is a strategy that`s been worked out
before or wargaming before.
JILL WINE-BANKS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: We never talked about what state
crimes might have been committed by the President or any of his other
colleagues. We never worried much about that. We did obviously run into
the pardon issue because as soon as he was resigned, we felt OK, if you
didn`t think we could indict a sitting president, we certainly can indict a
non-sitting president, a former president.
But within the time that it took to discuss returning a new indictment and
whether it would impact the trial of the other defendants, the new
president, President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for all crimes that he
might have ever committed. So it was a prospective. He hadn`t been
indicted and he was still pardoned and our research showed that we really
had no option that the pardon as a professor just said it is a very
unlimited and powerful piece of power that he has to pardon. It cannot be
undone. But it doesn`t apply to the state.
HAYES: Professor, so there`s a sort of interesting constitutional question
here because of the power of the pardon, right, which is in the text of the
Constitution essentially unconstrained as far as I can tell and yet it does
seem intuitively that if you were to say, hey criminal co-conspirator I`m
going to pardon you if you keep silent that that`s obviously some kind of
And we do know that the – it`s the position of the Mueller team at least
in their transcripts they say they talked about why he would behave the way
he is that it would have I think negative consequences determine the other
motive Mr. Manafort could have which is to at least argument a chance of a
pardon. And we know from the Times that there were discussions with the
lawyers about that. What legal constitutional status does a pardon dangle
if such exists have?
PEARLSTEIN: Well, this is a question that`s come up a great deal over the
course of the Mueller
Investigation. And the issue is not whether or not the president has the
power to pardon whomever he wishes. I think it`s clear that he does. But
the president doesn`t have the power to violate other laws including laws
that prohibit obstruction of justice.
So for example, if it were shown that the president was dangling a pardon
or offering a pardon or extending a pardon for the purpose of obstructing
justice, for the purpose for example of making it possible for Mr. Manafort
to in some way continue to not give full information, to not make a full
disclosure to the special prosecutor or any other investigation, then there
might be concerns that it was being used in a corrupt manner. That the
pardon power was being used just like any other otherwise lawful power
could be used for unlawful purposes.
And there I think there would be an unusual and specialized question under
constitutional law one doesn`t encounter every day, but that`s about par
for the course with this –
HAYES: Well, and here`s where we get to me where the rubber hits the road,
Jill, and this is just based on accounts from James Comey and Andrew McCabe
and other people in the inside circle. The President doesn`t seem like the
kind of person who would have his lawyers or would say personally like I
want you to not – like to shut up so I`ll give you a pardon.
What seems totally possible in the mode that these people have develop
rhetorically and we`ve seen this in organized crime for years is basically
a communication like the President knows that you know you`ve been through
a tough time and if you tell the truth, maybe there can be some mercy at
the end of it. Something that`s sort of plausibly deniable enough and that
seems to me the sort of heart of all of this which is the – what is the
intent of the President and all these crimes he`s doing all these things
that look pretty sketchy but there`s some kind of account they could
contend is legitimate.
BANKS: I would have no hesitation as a prosecutor bringing an obstruction
of justice case for the use of a legitimate power of the president that is
done for corrupt purposes. So that would include firing James Comey, it
would include firing Sally Yates, it would include any pardon that he
gives. And I think the very fact that his first part was to a person who
was Sheriff Joe Arpaio was a message sent to all the other potential
witnesses against him, don`t worry, you don`t have to cooperate with the
court. I will take care of you.
And I think that that is also a part of him sending a message, is part of
an obstruction, and I think we can infer his intent, his corrupt intent
under the law by the combination of things that he has done, and I think
that that would be a valid and legitimate case.
HAYES: All right, Jill Wine-Banks and Deborah Pearlstein, thank you both
for making time tonight. Have a great night.
BANKS: Thank you.
PEARLSTEIN: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, breaking news tonight, the President`s former right-hand man
provided new information in federal authorities. We`re just learning about
this today about the Trump family business. One of the reporters who broke
that story joins me in just two minutes.
HAYES: Breaking news tonight. Michael Cohen has offered up new
information on the Trump family business to federal prosecutors. According
to a report from the New York Times, the President`s former lawyer who
worked at the Trump Org for years spoke about possible irregularities
within the President`s family business and about a donor to inaugural
committee according to people familiar with the matter, specifically about
insurance claims the company had filed over the years.
Cohen will testify at three separate hearings in D.C. next week behind
closed doors before both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and
publicly before the House Oversight Committee in just five days. To walk
us through exactly what has taken place here, I`m joined on the phone by
one of the reporters who broke the New York Times story, Senior Writer
William, what do we know about the conditions under which Michael Cohen met
with the prosecutors and what he told them?
WILLIAM RASHBAUM, SENIOR WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, he met with him on
a holiday on Martin Luther King Day. He went in perhaps on the holiday to
attract less attention and they discussed a number of topics including as
we reported their interest in Imaad Zuberi and he told them about these
business practices that he alleged involved, certain proprieties.
HAYES: And the improprieties relate to insurance? Is that the – is that
your what you`re reporting indicates?
RASHBAUM: Well, our understanding is that they related to insurance claims
that Trump organization made. That`s what he alleged. It`s unclear
precisely what that involved and exactly what the federal investigators
have found so far in the last few weeks since he – since he made those
HAYES: So just so I`m clear on this. This is – he`s meeting with the
Southern District right, not with the Mueller team on this, is that right?
RASHBAUM: That`s right. That`s right.
HAYES: And he has talked – we know he`s spent a fair amount of time
already since he was rated and indicted and arraigned like with both of
those offices correct? This has been an ongoing communication.
RASHBAUM: Well, he was briefed extensively by the investigators in Mr.
Mueller`s office. I think in total there were 70 hours of briefings. Most
of that involved Mr. Mueller`s prosecutors. He also spent I believe two
days with prosecutors for the Southern District, but Mr. Cohen chose not to
cooperate fully with the Southern District and as a result of that, the
information he provided was in their view limited.
HAYES: Yes, that`s right. When they – when it was time for them to sort
of talk about sentencing, they were pretty harsh about him being squirrely
evasive and not particularly forthcoming.
RASHBAUM: Right. I mean, they were – the sentencing memo was extremely
harsh. I think in the paper we called it scathing. I do think that you
know, his most recent session was in all likelihood part of an effort to
provide information that might prompt the prosecutors to file a motion
under a certain section of the federal law that would allow them to seek a
sentence reduction or post-sentencing reduction for him. Whether that will
ultimately happen obviously remains to be seen.
HAYES: Final question, the donor in question from the inaugural committee
that you`re reporting indicates was part of the conversation that he had.
We know they`re looking into the inaugural committee. Can you tell us more
RASHBAUM: Well, Imaad Zuberi was the one person who was actually named in
the southern districts subpoena, grand jury subpoena to the inaugural
committee which I think was a few weeks ago and exactly where that will go.
And precisely the upshot of the information that Mr. Cohen provided sort of
remains to be seen at this point.
HAYES: All right, William Rashbaum, thank you so much for making the time.
For more on what this means for Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, I`m joined
by Elie Mystal, Co-Editor-in-Chief for Above the Law. What do you make of
this Elie, right, like they cooperate, you`ve got this weird thing that
happens where there`s to sentencing memos. The Mueller team says yes, he`s
been pretty good. The SDNY says he has not helped us at all and we`re
pretty furious about that. And now he`s back in there on Martin Luther
ELIE MYSTAL, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ABOVE THE LAW: Yes. I think what it
tells us is that SDNY is going to be part of Donald Trump`s life for the
rest of his natural life, all right. SDNY is coming that Trump likes
syphilis. It`s going to make him crazy and it`s never going away.
Everybody is so worried about like, oh the Mueller report, is it going to
happen this week, is it going to happen next week, when is it going? SDNY
is going to be here. It`s going to be here now. It`s going to be here
when Trump is out of office. It`s going to be here for his family. It`s
going to be here for his grandkids if he`s not careful.
So I think overall what we see today is that the SDNY is continuing to pull
threads on the Trump Organization which appears to be pretty you know,
criminally implicated in lots of different ways and they continue to pull
that thread. Now what does it mean for Cohen?
There`s no – there`s no upside for Cohen given that he has already been
sentenced. There is no upside for Cohen unless he can actually give them
information that leads to the prosecution right? This is a – this is –
he is now in the like 1-800 tips line part of the – part of his life where
like unless he gets somebody convicted, like he`s going to stay in jail for
three years. So the only thing that`s worth it for them – for him to say
is something that he and SDNY think could lead to prosecution of another
HAYES: So you know, I thought about this in light of the insurance part of
that reporting which is was interesting and I hadn`t quite thought it
before but someone on our staff remember that Donald Trump – this was
about the hurricane damage. This is the 2016 A.P. story that he took $17
million insurance for damage that if you remember, he received $70 million
insurance payment in 2005 for hurricane damage to Mar-a-Lago, but the
Associated Press has found little evidence of such large-scale damage.
It is – you know, you can – people get prosecuted for insurance fraud.
That`s a thing the happens in the world. It`s interesting that that term
jumped out in that article.
MYSTAL: Yes. I mean, I`m going to have to give credit to my wife here
because she`s been saying this for three years now. If we`ve seen so much
evidence that Trump committed some kind of illegality or crime in the run-
up to the election, if we`ve seen so much evidence that Trump committed
some kind of illegality or crime in terms of obstruction while he was
president, what makes us think that he hasn`t committed many, many, many
crimes over his long and disastrous business career, right?
And so at some point, and I think SDNY is the right point, SDNY has to
start investigating actual crimes that happen at the Trump Organization.
And you`re exactly right to bring up this insurance fraud thing because
that start – that`s – what you`re looking at insurance fraud, you were
going – the SDNY is not limited in scope like the Mueller investigation is
to just looking at collusion between Russia.
The SDNY can follow the money and they seem to be following the money and
that should be terrifying for Trump, and Jared, and Don Jr., and Eric, and
HAYES: Well, and a thing that we always forget which I say – which I
would say is hard to digest. Michael Cohen implicated the president in the
commission of the federal felony to which he has pleaded and is sentenced
for yes in federal court, in Southern District, with the approval of
federal prosecutors who have talked to other people around said crime in
which he is individual one who Michael Cohen said directed the crime. That
in and of itself, many prosecutors said, is an indictable crime if the man
didn`t happen to be sitting in the White House.
MYSTAL: Yes. And that`s why I keep saying he`s not going to be sitting in
the White House forever. All right? Like impeachment is a political issue
but at some point he`s no longer going to be president and SDNY I believe
is going to be waiting for him.
HAYES: Yes, and there`s a question there of statute of limitations
particularly on the campaign crimes. It is possible that if it`s – you
just limited that, the president ends up running for re-election to
essentially stay out of criminal exposure which is to say if he`s elected,
his sort of force field that protects him from being indicted extends for
another four years and maybe he can get away with it which is a pretty
perverse situation to find ourselves in.
MYSTAL: Nobody needs to win this election more than Donald Trump.
HAYES: Ellie Mystal, thank you so much for joining us.
MYSTAL: Thank you.
HAYES: Just ahead, Democrats unveiled their resolution to stop Donald
Trump`s emergency and the man leading that charge joins me next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: There is no emergency at the border. It`s a mythology of the
president, not a reality at the border. And so people have to realize
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: From the – from the first day a week ago when Donald Trump
declared a national emergency to pay for a border wall and while Mexico was
supposed to pay for, Democrats have vowed to stop him. Today introduced a
resolution to terminate that so-called emergency, Speaker Nancy Pelosi says
the house is going to vote on it on Tuesday.
If it passes, and it will almost certainly will, it goes to the Senate
where by law it must be voted on within 18 days. Texas Democratic
Congressman Joaquin Castro wrote the resolution that would block the
president`s emergency declaration and he joins me now. I read the
resolution. It`s basically a paragraph saying the emergency is withdrawn
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: Yes, it is, you know. And about six weeks
ago when it started – the rumor started that the President might call a
national emergency to build his border wall, my staff and I started working
with the legislative council to figure out the most foolproof way that we
could get Congress to take a vote on it and not just the House but get the
Senate to vote.
So this should pass in the House. We have about 228 co-sponsors now, and
then the Senate will have to vote on it. Susan Collins has already said
that she`ll support the resolution so we need about three more Republican
Senators. I believe that we can get them between now and the Senate vote,
and then after that it`s up to the president.
HAYES: Am I correct that you only have one Republican co-sponsor in the
CASTRO: That`s right. So far Justin Amash of Michigan who`s been very
libertarian minded Republican is the only Republican co-sponsor so far even
though, Chris, we tried to make it very bipartisan in how we`ve approached
it. I have said that I believe this is a matter of a constitutional power
grab by the president, yet this president has sought to undermine the
legitimacy of the judiciary and now he`s basically going after Congress.
And I think that if we allow him to do it this time, this will not be the
last time he tries to undermine the Congress and take power from the United
HAYES: What`s striking to me is that you`ve had numerous senators voice
their unease, right, whether they actually end up voting against it or not
is another question, but a bunch of senators voiced their unease. We know
from reporting McConnell and Cornyn tried to get the president not to do
it in the first place, right.
HAYES: People that…
CASTRO: Yeah, Jon Cornyn said this was a terrible idea, that this was a
terrible idea. So, I wanted to make sure that they have an opportunity to
express that perspective by voting on this resolution in the near future.
HAYES: But it`s striking to me that, you know, the conservative
intelligentsia has said the same thing. This opens the door. It`s
striking to me you`ve got one – you can find one Republican in the House
of Representatives our of the – what are there, there`s 200 of them there
now, the one to co-sponsor?
CASTRO: Yeah, well I still have until Tuesday. So, we still have a few
Look, we`ve been working the phones…
HAYES: Maybe you`re not working hard enough, yeah.
CASTRO: Yeah. It`s tough, as you know. I mean, I think a lot of these
folks, they are just deathly afraid of how Donald Trump commands the base
of the Republican Party. They`re scared of a primary challenge. They`re
scared that he`s going to say something bad about him over Twitter and
they`re going to get a primary opponent.
But this is – this is a time when they really need to step up and put
fears of losing their own primary – they need to put that aside and stand
up for the country.
HAYES: I want to play something the president said for you today, because
it`s – it continues to just tell patent and obvious, easily discreditable
lies about the situation at the border. This is what he had to say today.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We need a wall. We`ve apprehended more people than we have in
many, many years, apprehended, meaning we`ve gotten – with a wall, we
wouldn`t even have to apprehend them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Apprehended more people than we`ve gotten in many, many years.
It`s just not – here`s the chart. It`s just not true. And this has been
the strategy from the beginning. That`s what apprehensions look like.
CASTRO: Yeah. That`s right. I mean, look, we – apprehensions are at a
four decades low.
We also have more federal, state and local law enforcement presence at the
border then we`ve had in the nation`s history. We literally have more
manpower there then we`ve ever had in the nation`s history.
What`s going on here for Donald Trump is that Mexico refused to pay for the
wall, congress refused to pay, and now he`s insisting that the American
taxpayers pay for the wall.
HAYES: Are you growing a beard so that people don`t confuse you and your
twin brother Julian Castro who is running for president? I read that
CASTRO: I said that I would try not to look like a certain presidential
candidate. So, I hope you like the beard here.
HAYES: You know, I read – I think I read into you – I actually don`t
know to this day whether
it was you or Julian I ran into at…
CASTRO: Well, that`s the problem, see.
HAYES: At Beto`s event on election night and had a whole conversation.
Afterwards, I was like, which one – I don`t know.
CASTRO: That was my brother. He lives in El Paso.
HAYES: We figured that out. I`m glad you`re going with the beard., it`s
helping everyone out here. All right, Congressman Joaquin Castro, thank
you for your time.
CASTRO: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, Trump`s Labor secretary is the latest cabinet official
facing a massive scandal. He`s now facing calls for his resignation. That
And next, Thing One, Thing Two. We just couldn`t let it get away.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it`s not so often that one Dutch historian can
go viral twice, that`s what happened when Rutger Bregman – great name –
called out the hypocrisy at the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland last
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUTGER BREGMAN, HISTORIAN: This is my first time at Davos. And I find it
quite a bewildering experience, to be honest. I mean, 1,500 private jets
flown in to hear Sir David Attenborough speak about, you know, how we`re
wrecking the planet. And I mean, I hear people talking the language of
participation and justice and equality and transparency, but then I mean
almost no one raises the real issue of tax avoidance, right, and of the
rich just not paying their fair share.
I mean, it feels like I`m at a firefighters conference and no one is
allowed to speak about water. We`ve got to be talking about taxes, taxes,
taxes. All the rest is [EXPLETIVE DELETED] in my opinion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The video of a historian sticking it to the globalist elite at
Davos, that was like catnip for one Fox News host who invited Bregman on
his show to revel in the poning.
You know old fable about the frog and the scorpion? That`s Thing Two in 60
HAYES: So when historian Rutger Bregman called out the super rich to their
faces at Davos, Tucker Carlson had to have him on his Trump TV show, and so
they pretaped an interview and then he spiked it. The interview never made
it on the air, but Bregman himself recorded things from his end and
released it on the Internet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: That`s one of the great moments, maybe the
great moment in Davos history. And part of it makes me wonder, are you the
first person ever to note that people are flying private to talk about
global warming and then none of them mention tax avoidance?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It started off well enough, but the reason we only have Bregman`s
recording is because the Dutch historian went from calling out Davos to
calling out Tucker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BREGMAN: Well, what the Murdochs basically want you to do is to scapegoat
immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance. So, I`m glad you`re
finally raising the issue, but that`s what`s been happening for the past
couple of years.
TUCKER: And I`m taking orders from the Murdochs, is that what you`re
BREGMAN: Well, it doesn`t work that directly, it works by you taking their
dirty money. It`s as easy as that. I mean, you are a millionaire funded
by billionaires, that`s what you are. It`s true, right, that all the
anchors, all the anchors on Fox, they`re all millionaires.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And things pretty much fell apart from there, and so obviously it
never aired on Trump TV. See it was a prerecorded interview, which you can
just throw in the trash if you don`t have the guts to interview someone
Bregman released his recording of the interview. Carlson did address it,
quote, “there is some profanity, and I apologize for that. On the other
hand, it was genuinely heartfelt. I meant it with total sincerity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BREGMAN: So, I mean, you`re probably not going to air this, but I went to
Davos to speak truth to power, and I`m doing exactly the same thing right
now. You might not like it, but you`re a millionaire funded by
billionaires, and that`s the reason why you`re not talking about these
CARLSON: But I am talking about these issues.
BREGMAN: Yeah, only now. Come on, you jumped the bandwagon. You`re all
like, oh, I`m against the globalist elite, blah, blah, blah, it`s not very
convincing, to be honest.
CARLSON: Why don`t you go [EXPLETIVE DELETED] yourself, you tiny brained -
- and I hope this gets picked up, because you`re a moron. I tried to give
you a hearing, but you were too [EXPLETIVE DELETED].
BREGMAN: You can`t handle the criticism, can you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today Donald Trump finally reacted to the arrest of Coast Guard
Lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson, the white supremacist who had amassed
an arsenal and was apparently, allegedly, plotting a domestic terror attack
targeting top Democrats and prominent journalists who have criticized the
Trump has called the media the enemy of the people, he`s encouraged
violence against reporters and critics, but he insisted today that he did
not need to tone down his rhetoric in the wake of Hasson`s arrest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think it`s a very sad thing when a thing like that happens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think you bear any responsibility for
moderating your language when it comes to that?
TRUMP: No, I don`t. I think my language is very nice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Authorities say that one of Hasson`s Google searches as he plotted
his attack was, quote, civil war if Trump impeached. That is not the
deranged lone fantasy of some weirdo. Trump himself has warned ominously
that the people would revolt if he were impeached.
But the idea of a second civil war to defend Trump is an ever present topic
among the right-wing media, reflected regularly in headlines on
conservative news sites. And it`s bandied about on TV and radio by right-
wing personalities who make their money selling paranoia to an increasingly
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMGAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO SHOW HOST: You might even get away with
saying that we are on the cusp of a second civil war. Some of you might
say that we are already into it, that it is already begun. However, you
characterize it, though, we are under attack from within.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Bill O`Reilly warned of a possible civil war after the 2016
election, Sean Hannity
said the nation could be headed toward a civil war after the Mueller
report, Roger Stone said impeachment would bring a, quote, “a spasm of
violence in this country, an insurrection like you`ve never seen.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL OPERATIVE: If there is a coup d`etat,
if there is an illegitimate, unconstitutional effort to remove Donald Trump
on Trumped up charges by a biased and partisan prosecutors, or an
illegitimate take-down by the 25th Amendment, there will be a civil war in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just yesterday, Joe diGenova, a man that the president nearly
brought on to his legal team last year, had this to say to Laura Ingram.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOE DIGENOVA, ATTORNEY: We are in a civil war in this country. There`s
two standards for
justice, one for Democrats, one for Republicans. The press is all
Democrat, all liberal, all progressive, all left. They hate Republicans.
They hate Trump. So the suggestion there`s ever going to be civil
discourse in this country for the foreseeable future is over. It`s not
going to be. It`s going to be total war. And as I say to my friends, I do
two things, I vote and I buy guns.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s nice.
The president and his allies insist that anyone who does not stand with
Trump is out to destroy him by any means necessary. They want to have
rigged elections and criminal invasions and a deep state conspiracy and a
coup d`etat. And when super fan Cesar Sayac (ph) then sends pipe bombs
to Trump`s critics and tries to murder about two dozen them, and
Christopher Paul Hasson plots to murder Democrats and journalists, they
insist that their rhetoric is somehow irrelevant, that their incitement
does not matter.
But it does matter. Last year, journalist Ken Vogel of The New York Times,
which Trump this week once again declared the enemy of the people, posted a
voice-mail he had received from an apparent Trump supporter.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re the problem. You are the enemy of the people.
And although the pen might be mightier than the sword, the pen is not
mightier than the AK-47. And just remember, Ken, there`s nothing civil
about a civil war.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: There are growing calls for the Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to
resign after a
federal judge found that he broke the law when he was U.S. attorney in a
case that attracted renewed scrutiny thanks to some dogged investigative
reporting by the folks at The Miami Herald.
Earlier today, President Trump was asked for his take on the situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you have any concerns about the Labor
Secretary`s handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case?
TRUMP: I really don`t know too much about it. I know he`s done a great
job as labor secretary, and that seems like a long time ago, but I know
he`s been a fantastic labor secretary, that`s all I can really tell you
about, that`s all I know about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yeah, it seems like a long time ago, all the child sexual abuse.
Well, thanks to The Miami Herald, here is what we know about what happened
all the back in 2007. Then U.S. attorney Alex Acosta oversaw frankly a
shocking plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein. The politically connected
multimillionaire, whose friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and
who dozens, dozens of under aged girls say sexual assaulted them.
As part of the plea, any potential co-conspirators received immunity and
were never identified. The victims were never told that the case was
closed. And Epstein only served 13 months in jail after being accused of
serial sexual assault of more than 30 girls, some as young as 13.
Now the Herald reports that Thursday a federal judge ruled that that
arrangement, which Acosta oversaw, broke the law. Prosecutors not only
violated the Crime Victims` Right Act by not informing the victims, they
also misled the girls into believing that the FBI sex trafficking case
against Epstein was still ongoing when in fact prosecutors had secretly
closed it after sealing the plea bargain from the public record.
Joining me now are Chris Lu, former deputy secretary deputy secretary of
Labor under President Barack Obama, and Marcy Hamilton, founder, CEO, and
academic director of Child USA,
which is an advocacy organization for children.
Marcy, let me start with you. You work in this space, and have you seen a
plea like this? Have you seen a case with details like this?
MARCY HAMILTON, FOUNDER, CEO CHILD USA: You know, the only thing that`s
even close in comparison is the way in which the bishops covered up sex
abuse by the priests. I mean, this is about powerful men working with
other powerful men and just agreeing that we`re not going to embarrass you,
we`re not going to make you pay all these victims, and treating all the
victims like collateral damage. For me, that`s the worst part.
Once again, the kids were just thrown to the side, and it was all about the
adults protecting each other.
HAYES: And Acosta is now the Labor secretary, Chris. And I got to say,
you know, I lose track of scandals in the cabinet. You know, Wilbur Ross
just got dinged by the White House Ethics Office because he apparently lied
about selling stock, which he hadn`t. There is a bunch of other things
happened – Ryan Zinke who just left has a grand jury looking into whether
he lied. So I lose track of them. But this just seems like a resignable
offense to have a federal judge say you broke the law.
CHRIS LU, FORMER DEPUTY SECREATRY OF LABOR: And let`s be clear what we`re
talking about, Chris, we`re talking about modern slavery, and it`s estimate
that there are as many as 40 million victims of slavery around the world.
And one of the most powerful agencies to fight slavery is the Department of
The Department of Labor inspects workplaces around the country, and because
they focus on low wage immigrant industries where you`re likely to find
violations, the Department of Labor inspectors are often the first people
to find victims of human trafficking. And around the world, the Department
of Labor has a powerful bully pulpit, it issues an annual report on child
labor and forced labor, and works with foreign governments and businesses
to increase awareness.
Just two months ago, Alex Acosta announced $50 million of grants to fight
child labor, forced labor, human trafficking, around the world. So, this
is incredibly hypocritical for him to be serving in this position.
HAYES: Marcy, what does your experience tell you about what happens to
girls such as these in their teen years and quite vulnerable and often sort
of at the margins who come forward to tell what happened to them to
HAMILTON: Well, it all depends on what the prosecutors` training is, but
it also depends on what the statute of limitations are. If there is a shot
at justice, normally at this point in history, they are listened to.
What happened in this case 12 years ago is that the prosecutors took their
names. They took the facts, and then they basically shut them out. When
the victims came forward and said we really want to make sure that he`s
prosecuted, they were told, oh, we`re investigating. Don`t worry about it.
And they`d already signed a deal with him not to prosecute him.
It really was a cruel way to deal with these victims.
HAYES: Chris, this was something that came up in Acosta`s hearings, his
confirmation hearings, although the Miami Herald had not published this
incredible investigative reporting at this point. It was known that this
was sort of a fishy plea deal. What can be done? I mean, the Senate has
oversight, I guess, House has oversight. What can be done?
LU: Well, the Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility has
an investigation into this, Senator Ben Sasse says they are going to look
into this, but you raised an important thing. You know, had this been
known at the time that he violated federal law, he did not give these
dozens of victims notice about the plea deal and a chance to have their day
in court. It would be interesting to know whether he would have gotten
confirmed at the time.
And Sarah Sanders today said, look, this was a pretty tough sentence.
Well, if it was such a tough sentence, why didn`t the victims know about it
HAYES: Marcy, today there was also federal charges – sorry Cook County
charges in Illinois
brought against R. Kelly who, of course, was famously prosecuted and
acquitted in the sexual assault
of under-aged girls. He`s been charged with 10 counts of that in this
I kind of wonder sometimes, I covered the church for my first book. And I
was just shocked and appalled at how much covering up there was, and how
little what happened to the victims meant. Have we made progress? Are we
making progress on that front?
HAMILTON: Well, I actually think that the Vatican meeting going on right
now shows you that the church itself has not made much progress. They are
still talking about false claims. They are still worried about the
reputations of the ones who are accused, but this decision in the Epstein
case is a big deal because it basically says hey, victims, you get to be
part of the process, and when you`re not
something is going to happen.
So, if in fact, we see a trial of Epstein, which we could, we could see
this non-prosecution agreement dissolve, that would be a big deal, and that
would show we really have made progress.
HAYES: Wait a second. Explain how that would play out legally.
HAMILTON: So basically what happened is he didn`t have a plea deal, he had
a non-prosecution agreement.
HAMILTON: Wat the judge ruled – right? So, the judge basically said this
was based on fraud. The victims were told there was an investigation when
there wasn`t, and they weren`t included
in violation of federal law.
Now, they can`t get damages under federal law, but they can certainly undo
the non-prosecution agreement, and when you undo that he`s right there.
They can certainly prosecute him.
HAYES: Right. He ends up never pleaing to any federal crimes, they just
don`t prosecute. They sort of throw everything else out, and he does time
for local charges, which is the 13 months he does. But the federal
government never even gets him to plea. They just don`t prosecute.
HAMILTON: Right. Right. I mean, they just play this whole game with him.
And then in 2002, the federal government had eliminated the criminal
statute of limitations. So, these women could still testify. They can
still be validated.
So Acosta is out of the picture. We have other prosecutors in Florida. I
really hope they go for it.
HAYES: That`s a really interesting idea.
Chris, of course, if he`s gone, lord knows we get another acting in that
cabinet that basically is
half full at this point.
LU: Exactly. But let me just say this, moral leadership matters. And you
can`t profess to be a champion for victims of human trafficking if your
record doesn`t demonstrate it.
HAYES: Chris Lu and Marcy Hamilton, thank you both so much. Have a great
That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right
now. Good evening, Rachel.
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